Edward Poynter Biography | Oil Paintings

3-20-1836 Paris, FRA – 7-26-1919 London, ENG

Poynter, Edward

Sir Edward John Poynter was the son of the architect, Ambrose Poynter. He was educated at Brighton College and Ipswich School but left school early because of poor health, spending winters in the warmer climate on the Island of Madeira neat Portugal and in Rome. In 1853 while in Rome, at the age of seventeen, he met Frederick Leighton, who made a great impression Poynter. Inspired, on his return to London, he studied at Leigh's Academy and the Royal Academy Schools, before going to Paris in 1856 to study in the studio of the Neoclassical painter Charles Gleyre, where he met fellow students James McNeill Whistler and George du Maurier. Poynter lived with Whistler for a time when both were students in Paris, although they were not great friends.

In 1866 Edward Poynter married one of the famous MacDonald sisters Agnes. Her sister Georgiana married the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, sister Alice was the mother of writer Rudyard Kipling, and sister Louisa was the mother Stanley Baldwin who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom three times. Edward Poynter became best known for his large historical paintings such as Israel in Egypt.

Edward John Poynter held a number of official posts, he was the first Slade Professor of Fine Art at University College London from 1871 to 1875, a Royal Academician in 1876, principal of the National Art Training School from 1875 to 1881 director of the National Gallery from 1894 to 1904. In 1896 he was elected President of the Royal Academy, was Knighted, followed by an honorary degree from Cambridge University in 1898, and made a Baronet in 1902.

Based on his association with Rudyard Kipling and the subjects of his paintings that he was a Freemason, prints of his oil painting The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon are found in many Masonic Lodges around the world.

Art Movement: Victorian Classicism.
Artists Influencing Edward John Poynter: Frederick Leighton, Charles Gleyre.
He Traveled To Portugal, Italy.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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